Unlike the bell bottom trousers, the digital watch or the iPod, political dynasties tend to never go out of fashion and, even if they do, they still have a way of coming back. The present may, however, seem terrible for one of the overwhelming political dynasties of Sri Lanka, where the Rajapaksas hide in fear from the very people they had lorded over for decades.
History shows Mahinda, the man who made his brother Gotabaya the President, may not be the only one to be displaced as democracies are known to be fertile fields for political families to sow the seeds to reap power in time to come, be it the Bushes of Texas in the United States or the Bhuttos and Sharifs of Pakistan.
Given the history of political comebacks of dynasties, it shouldn’t have come as a terrible shock that a double dynasty was voted in with the dictator Marcos’ namesake Ferdinand Marcos Jr, and his running mate and vice-president to be in Sara Duterte, daughter of the Philippines “strongman” President Rodrigo Duterte, proving to be the recipients of the popular vote.
It is moot whether a section of voters is dissatisfied with the vote or the US is pleased with the result as the young Marcos - whose father was hounded out of office 36 years ago after a despotic rule of well-recorded human rights abuses and greed, as symbolised by the acquisitiveness of his 92-year-old mother Imelda Marcos - could turn out to be distinctly pro-China.
Change is also subject to the swing of the pendulum of time which can pave the way for a change of taste, too, as younger generations, seeking answers to what they see as continuous misrule, tend to fall back on familiar names.
Disinformation fed on social media projecting the rule of Marcos as a golden era for Filipinos is among reasons, along with reports of malfunctioning voting machines, being given for this huge swing in one of Asia’s oldest democracies.
“Judge me not by my ancestors, but by my actions,” “Bongbong” Marcos declared, using an interesting line disassociating the candidate from his parents. Only time will tell if it’s just a clever ploy or a true desire to bring change to society.